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By Lily Rand

The spring semester is a time of new beginnings. In spring, new life begins to bloom after enduring the harsh climate of winter. In our first There’s More live event of the Spring 2023 semester, our storytellers spoke on that very topic: enduring.

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The event opened with a moving story from Kristina Garland. As the Associate Director at the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, Garland arrives on campus everyday with an attitude to lead and create positive change. Yet, she revealed that her attitude on the outside is not always what is reflected on the inside. Garland lives with chronic illnesses, and this diagnosis has caused her entire outlook to shift. Living with this invisible battle within her has caused her to endure every day of her life. Yet, she shares that through her struggles, she has found beauty in the mundane and importance in slowing down.

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Our next speaker spoke on the complexities of enduring the legacy of a late family member. Amanda Petersen, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Spanish Professor, spoke humorously of her grandmother who was an “absolute asshole”. But after her passing, Petersen uncovered the reasons why her grandmother was very specific about family traditions. Petersen has found her own ways of enduring these family traditions, while knowing what can be open to change for future generations.

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Lastly, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Farrah Karapetian spoke on how music can help us endure. “Music can get you through an experience, but it can also get you back into it”, stated Karapetian. Karapetian spoke of times where her loved ones were forced to endure - whether it was medical complications or war narratives. Nevertheless, Karapetian reminds us that music allows us to decide how we are going to face these challenges.

The three storytellers beautifully spoke to the messy and painful truths that often come with struggles in life. Yet, by enduring everyday, these storytellers have found ways to focus on the new life that can bloom during difficult times.